HOUSTON – Firefighters had to free a trapped man from a van after he crashed into a utility pole in west Houston overnight.

The crash happened shortly before midnight Tuesday on S. Gessner just south of Westheimer Road.

The man was apparently traveling northbound when he left the road for unknown reasons and crashed into the pole. The impact was so severe it split the pole in half and crushed the van.

The man was said to be in critical condition as he was taken to the hospital.

Photos: Van crashes into pole in W. Houston